Strategies to Address the Faculty Shortage of Nursing

Strategies to Address the Faculty Shortage of Nursing

The nursing profession is critical to the advancement of positive health outcomes. Nurses play a crucial role in the health sector; they provide direct care in hospitals. Across the globe, the need for nurses has been on the increase. This is against the backdrop of nursing faculty shortages at various nursing institutions, which limits the capacity of the students. The result has been increased shortage of nurses in the different health facilities across the globe. In the United States of America, it is projected that the shortage of registered nurses (RNs) will keep on intensifying due to various reasons (Rosseter, 2012). Strategies to Address the Faculty Shortage of Nursing



The nursing faculty shortage in the United States directly affects the overall shortage of nurses in the country. The administrators of higher education are faced with the issue of not being able to register all the qualified students to the various nursing courses due to a low number of qualified nursing faculty members. According to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), (2014) nursing schools rejected 68,938 applicants who were qualified from graduate nursing schools and baccalaureate. AACN (2014) identified the factors leading to the turn way as “insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints” (p. 3). The worsening faculty shortages in the nursing schools and health centers are a major setback to the health infrastructure. As a result, there is the need to explore the factors that have exacerbated the situation and the probable strategies to address the faculty shortage and remedy the national nurse shortage. Strategies to Address the Faculty Shortage of Nursing

Significance of the Study

A study by AACN (2014) to investigate the situation of the nursing faculty shortage indicated that there was increasing vacancy rate in the profession. According to Penn, Wilson and Rosseter (2008) there are different factors that contribute to the shortage of the nursing faculty. Some of the factors include the age, few nurses who are willing to receive masters and doctorate degrees, the workload in the faculty and the alternative career choices. Therefore, the study will be critical in establishing the contemporary factors that contribute to the faculty shortage. In addition, the research provides the authorities and the government with information that can form the basis for policy formulation in order to address the issue. Furthermore, it will add to the existing knowledge. Thus, the study will contribute to understanding the reasons for the shortages of the nursing faculties and explain the need for adequate nursing faculties that have an integral role in providing high-quality care delivery.

Statement of the problem

Many studies have been undertaken to find out the reasons for the nurse faculty shortage. As noted by AACN (2014) the nurse faculty shortage is directly related to the shortage of nurses. The shortages in the nursing faculty have led to increase in the demand for nurses at the time when there is rise in the number of RNs planning to retire. In addition, the shortage of nursing faculty has been restricting the qualified students to be admitted to the universities and colleges. According to Auerbach, Buerhaus, and Staiger (2014), currently, there are large numbers of baby boomer registered nurses who have delayed their retirement. When the generation retires, the nurse workforce will suffer a significant deficit. Auerbach et al. (2014) noted that “the demand for nurses and the faculty who educate them is a serious impediment to improving the nation’s healthcare needs” (p. 179). As a result, the shortage of faculty may have an enormous influence on the preparation of the nurses to fill the gap left by the retiring nurses and the high labor turnover. The consequence will be a negative impact on the healthcare industry and delivery of care. Strategies to Address the Faculty Shortage of Nursing

Research Question and Objectives

Nurses play an integral role in supporting the health system in the United States. According to Maas, Conn, Buckwalter, Herr, and Tripp (2009) the failure to understand the perceptions and behaviors that lead to nurse faculty leads to strategies that do not address the issue of faculty members and hence qualified applicants will keep on being turned away due to the inadequate teaching staff. In order to have an in-depth understanding of the situation, the study will be guided by the following research question.

  1. What is the primary reason for the occurrence of the shortages of nursing institutions, which are related to the limitation of the impartation of knowledge and skills of students?


  1. To integrate the findings of the qualitative study to determine the primary reasons for the nursing faculty shortages and the impact they have on the health care system.
  2. To determine the essentiality and the integral role of the nursing facilities in contributing quality health care delivery. Strategies to Address the Faculty Shortage of Nursing

Methodology and Data Analysis

The research based on stepwise multi-method process consisting of qualitative research methods and comparisons. The study entailed a systematic review of literature in order to understand the issue of nurse faculty shortage. The data collection entailed an in-depth search to identify the non-reviewed literature by scanning of the various qualitative articles in electronic databases. The electronic databases used are Science direct, CINAHL, HealthSTAR, PubMed, and Medline with the focus on nursing faculty. The main reason for using the articles is because they contain peer reviewed articles. In addition, the databases provide comprehensive studies that have been carried in the area of health care. In addition, the systematic review is supplemented by expert and students opinion. The data included articles that explore expert opinion of the nursing faculty and perceptions of the nursing faculty members about the issue. The study started with a systematic review of the abstracts from the databases in order to identify the relevant qualitative reviews and exclude gray literature. The analysis of the data entailed constant comparison analysis.

Data Analysis Justification

The constant comparative analysis provides the researcher with a comprehensive understanding of a piece of data and compares it to different or similar data in order to have different perspectives on the phenomena being studied. The approach is inductive because it allows the researcher to examine critically the data and draw meaning. The constant comparative entails systematic collection of data, analysis by application of theoretical sampling in order to achieve data that can be further subjected to other statistical testing. Strategies to Address the Faculty Shortage of Nursing

Inclusion/exclusion criteria

The search of the articles was limited to the referenced electronic databases. The articles selected for the study met the following criteria for inclusion. First, the articles focused on nurse shortage and nurse faculty shortage. Second, the selected studies must have been conducted using qualitative approaches. Third, the studies included should have focused on the perspectives and experiences of the key stakeholders (administrators and tutors). The key words used for the search in the electronic databases included nurse shortage and nurse faculty shortage. Even though the study focused on nurse faculty shortage in the US, there were no restrictions in relation to the articles from other countries. In addition, the study was limited to the period between 2005 and 2015. The research question also guided the inclusion, thus, studies that did not answer study question were excluded. Based on the inclusion criteria, eight articles were admitted into the constant comparative analysis. The table below is a summary of the findings. Strategies to Address the Faculty Shortage of Nursing